For those who aren't following, this is a major case working it's way through the federal courts where the plaintiffs are attempting to get, via court judgement, a portion of the revenues being generated set-aside as payments for college athletes.Ohio State versus Mount Union in a regular-season football game? Wisconsin against Wisconsin-Whitewater in a regular-season basketball game?
This isn't an outreach program between Big Ten schools and their Division III neighbors. It's one possible future Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany envisions if the plaintiffs prevail in Ed O'Bannon vs. the NCAA. In a declaration filed last week in federal court in support of the NCAA's motion against class certification, Delany threatened that any outcome that results in athletes getting a piece of the schools' television revenue could force the schools of the Big Ten to de-emphasize athletics as the Ivy League's schools did decades ago.
"...it has been my longstanding belief that The Big Ten's schools would forgo the revenues in those circumstances and instead take steps to downsize the scope, breadth and activity of their athletic programs," Delany wrote. "Several alternatives to a 'pay for play' model exist, such as the Division III model, which does not offer any athletics-based grants-in-aid, and, among others, a need-based financial model. These alternatives would, in my view, be more consistent with The Big Ten's philosophy that the educational and lifetime economic benefits associated with a university education are the appropriate quid pro quo for its student athletes."